Surviving Sandy :: Tips For Protecting Your Home Against Hurricane Damages

As you all may know, Governors, Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Martin O’Malley (D-MD) has declared a State of Emergency for all of Maryland and Virginia counties, as Tropical Storm Sandy approach the states.

In the event that the hurricane does hit, this is a reminder to residents of Maryland, DC and Virginia to be ready for the storm, by following these tips from the American Red Cross:

PREPARE YOUR HOME

Wash out all your rain gutters and exterior drains to avoid water backups. Water in gutters may not just spill over onto the ground — it could back up and cause water to seep into a home’s walls.

Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, hanging plants, bicycles, toys and garden tools, and secure objects that cannot be brought inside, the Red Cross says.

Put plywood over your home’s windows if high winds are predicted in your area.

Install a battery backup system for your water pump to guard against flooding and interior damage.

If the power goes off, unplug appliances like refrigerators and freezers and sensitive electronic equipment like TVs and computers so that they won’t overload when power is restored.

In order to safeguard your home’s value, you should make sure that you have homeowners insurance, flood insurance, and, in some cases, wind insurance.

KEEP SUPPLIES ON HAND

Water: One gallon per person, per day.

Food: Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items such as tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers and canned fruit. Make sure to include a manual can opener.

A battery powered or hand-crank radio, flashlights and plenty of extra batteries.

A first aid kit.

Medication: A seven-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medications. Include medical supplies like extra hearing aid batteries, syringes, etc.

PHONE NUMBERS AND WEBSITES

Visit the Maryland’s hurricane preparedness website.

Visit D.C.’s hurricane preparedness website.

– For power outages, call Pepco’s 24-Hour Outage Report Line at 1 (877) 737-2662. For downed wires, call Pepco immediately at (202) 872-3432. To have trees or debris removed, call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311.

Visit Virginia’s hurricane preparedness website.

 

PHONE APPS TO GET READY

Weather trackers now include video updates, animated radar maps and detailed conditions and forecasts as well as GPS to alert users if they are in an area under a weather watch or warning.

Android and iPhone

• The iHurricane HD (free)
• The Weather Channel app (free)
• My Radar Weather (free)
• NOAA Hi-Def Radar ($0.99)
• iMap Weather Radio ($9.99)

Disaster readiness applications provide how-to guides for stocking your shelves, gathering supplies and creating a customized escape plan depending on the situation. Topics include how to recharge your phone when there is no electricity to how to purify water. The application also provides offline access to resources in the event internet access is unavailable.

Android

• Disaster Readiness ($0.99)
• Disaster Survival Guide ($1.36)
• Are you Ready? (free)

iPhone

• Emergency Supply List ($0.99)
• Disaster Readiness ($1.99)
• iEmergency ($0.99)

First Aid Applications detail how to prevent and cope with hundreds of injuries with tips on how to treat burns or diagnose chest pain. Some applications wisely use your phone’s GPS tracking device to point you toward the nearest hospitals.

Android

• First Aid (free)
• Pocket First Aid and CPR ($2.99)

Turn your camera phone into a flashlight.

Android

• Droidlight LED flashlight (free)

iPhone

• Flashlight for iPhone (free)
• Emergency Light with Siren Alarm (free)

Emergency services. Even the most savvy smartphone user needs easy access to police, fire and ambulance services.

iPhone

• Emergency Radio enables you to listen to live emergency and police radio feeds to stay connected to the happenings in your area.

• Red Cross Shelter View (free on iTunes) locates shelters across the United States along with whether the facilities have hit capacity. The application uses data from the American Red Cross National Shelter System which contains a database of more than 60,000 potential disaster shelters.

Android

• 9-1-1ELERTS (free) connects the mobile phone user to 9-1-1 services while simultaneously notifying up to 10 friends and family of their perilous situation and whereabouts.

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